Can springs be removed with fenders in place?

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RIBS

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I was busy tonight. Springs are out.
So here’s the math.

First of all the car is mostly together in terms of final weight. The following items are not in the car, I estimate the missing weight to be about 250-300 pounds…none of it is engine compartment.
door window glass and mechanisms
quarter window glass and some mechanisms
carpet and padding
rear seat
door interior panels
quarter interior panels
rear bumper and brackets
rear valance
most weatherstripping
convertible top fabric

originally new springs were 1.25 taller than old at rest, out of car.
now new springs are .75 taller at rest, so 6 months of driving and sitting with loose front end components has only settled 1/2 inch.

installed in the car, currently. the new springs are approximately 3 inches higher than old springs. In past wheels were slightly tucked into well, now wheels have 2.5 inches clearance from top of tire to well edge.

so here’s my current thought.
if I cut 1 winding, that will drop 2” immediately. That leaves the front end 1 inch higher than past ride height. The wheel should still have a half inch of air before fender/well… It gives room for future settling, and the added weight to come. I know I risk cutting too much, but I want to only do this once…I know the safe bet is cut half so they match old springs windings…

old spring almost 9 windings
new spring 9.5 windings.

thoughts, opinions, past experiences welcomed. I appreciate the input so far!
 

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Sheriff41

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Do your upper control arms move up and down freely with the spring removed? You should be able to lift the suspension by the spindle and move it up and down through its full range. (You may need to use a floor jack if the sway bar is connected.) If the control arm shaft nuts (BIG cap nuts with grease fittings) are overtightened they can limit the movement of the control arms and affect ride height. If everything is good, then I'd say go ahead and cut. I would only go 3/4 of a coil because I'm a cheapskate and would rather have to remove and cut more later vs. cutting too much and having to buy another set of springs.
 
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RIBS

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Do your upper control arms move up and down freely with the spring removed? You should be able to lift the suspension by the spindle and move it up and down through its full range. (You may need to use a floor jack if the sway bar is connected.) If the control arm shaft nuts (BIG cap nuts with grease fittings) are overtightened they can limit the movement of the control arms and affect ride height. If everything is good, then I'd say go ahead and cut. I would only go 3/4 of a coil because I'm a cheapskate and would rather have to remove and cut more later vs. cutting too much and having to buy another set of springs.
yeah everything is free, UCA end nuts have been loosened, all joints well lubed, everything moves….

I really question if the springs are the wrong ones. Last night while working to remove springs, I removed brake calipers and disconnected sway bar, had front on jackstands, put floorjack under one LCA to lift so I could get sockets on shock and spring perch nuts.

instead of suspension compressing, the car lifted off the jackstands, this was part of my conversation with Elgin, and they said it’s normal…..
 
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I'd still call Eaton's and ask if they can give you the free height for their springs for your car as well as specs. I have found then very helpful on my cars rear spring upgrades.
I can't remember exactly where I got the free height for the front coils, but I know it was 15" and my originals measured at 14 15/16" so back in they went. This is on my 71 Mach 1 of course.
Having to cut anything to make it fit does not sound like the parts were made expressly for our cars, or anything I'd want to do.
 

RIBS

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Alrighty. Resolved. Amazing how easy this spring removal and reinstall was compared to the last time …

Thanks all for advice. I didn’t want to do it twice so I went big. I cut one full winding off, about 2 inches. It’s perfect. I still have a little air over tire but car looks perfectly balanced…first two pics are after spring cut. Last pic is before.
 

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